How Much Do Custom T-Shirts Really Cost? The Comprehensive Guide to Pricing

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the different factors that contribute to the cost of custom T-shirts, providing you with all the information you need to make an informed decision for your next apparel order. From design and printing methods to material and quantity, we will cover everything you need to know to make the right choice for your budget and needs.

The average cost of a custom T-shirt

The cost of a custom t-shirt can range from $10 to $50, with an average price of around $20 per shirt. Factors such as the number of shirts ordered, type of shirt, printing method, additional features, and turnaround time can all influence the final price. By understanding these factors and carefully considering your needs and budget, you can find the perfect balance between quality and cost, ensuring a successful custom t-shirt project that stands out from the competition.

Table of Contents

Factors Affecting Custom T-Shirt Costs

pile of custom t-shirts

When it comes to custom T-shirt pricing, there are several factors to consider. Here, we outline the primary factors that influence the cost:

  1. T-shirt material
  2. Design complexity
  3. Printing method
  4. Order quantity
  5. Additional features and customizations

Choosing the Right T-Shirt Material

The material of the T-shirt plays a significant role in determining its cost. Different materials have varying price points, and the choice of fabric can impact the overall feel, durability, and print quality of your custom T-shirts.


Cotton is a popular choice for custom T-shirts due to its softness, breathability, and affordability. There are various types of cotton, with the most common being:

  1. 100% cotton: Soft, comfortable, and budget-friendly, making it suitable for most purposes.
  2. Ring-spun cotton: A higher-quality cotton that is softer and more durable than regular cotton, but slightly more expensive.
  3. Organic cotton: Environmentally friendly and produced without harmful chemicals, it is a more expensive option.


Polyester is a synthetic material known for its durability, moisture-wicking properties, and resistance to wrinkles and shrinkage. It is often used for athletic wear and is usually more expensive than cotton.

Cotton-Polyester Blends

Cotton-polyester blends combine the best of both materials, offering a balance between comfort, durability, and affordability. The blend ratio will impact the cost, with a higher cotton content usually resulting in a higher price.

Design Complexity and Its Impact on Price

The complexity of your T-shirt design will also affect the cost. More intricate designs may require additional print colors, higher-resolution artwork, or specialized printing techniques, all of which can increase the price. Simple designs with fewer colors and less detail will generally be more affordable.

Printing Methods and Their Cost Implications

There are several printing methods available for custom T-shirts, each with its own set of cost implications:

Screen Printing

Screen printing is a popular method for producing custom T-shirts, as it provides vibrant colors and long-lasting prints. However, it can be more expensive for smaller orders due to setup costs and is best suited for larger quantities.

Direct-to-Garment (DTG) Printing

DTG printing uses inkjet technology to print designs directly onto the fabric, allowing for high-resolution and full-color prints. It is more cost-effective for smaller orders and complex designs but may have a higher per-item cost for large quantities.

Heat Transfer

Heat transfer involves applying a design to the T-shirt using heat and pressure. It is suitable for small orders and intricate designs, but the print quality may not be as durable as other methods. The cost per item can be higher for small quantities, but it becomes more affordable as the order size increases.


Embroidery is a premium method of decorating custom T-shirts, typically used for logos and monograms. It offers a high-quality, professional appearance but can be more expensive due to the specialized machinery and labor involved.

Bulk Orders and Quantity Discounts

One of the most significant factors affecting custom T-shirt costs is the order quantity. Many suppliers offer bulk discounts, meaning that the cost per item decreases as the order size increases. This is especially true for screen printing, where setup costs can be spread across a larger number of items.

In general, the more T-shirts you order, the lower the price per shirt will be. It’s important to carefully consider your required quantity and the potential cost savings of ordering in bulk.

Additional Features and Customizations

There are various additional features and customizations that can impact the cost of your custom T-shirts. Some examples include:

  1. Tag removal and custom labels: Removing the manufacturer’s tag and adding a custom label can enhance the professional appearance of your T-shirts, but it will also increase the cost.
  2. Specialty inks and finishes: Metallic, glitter, or glow-in-the-dark inks can add a unique touch to your design but will come with an added cost.
  3. Additional print locations: Printing on sleeves, hoods, or other areas can increase the price per item.
  4. Rush orders: If you need your T-shirts quickly, rush fees may apply.

Tips for Reducing Custom T-Shirt Costs

Here are some strategies for keeping your custom T-shirt costs within budget:

  1. Choose an affordable material: Opting for a basic cotton T-shirt or a cost-effective blend can help keep costs down.
  2. Simplify your design: Reducing the number of colors or complexity of your design can lower printing costs.
  3. Select an economical printing method: Consider the most cost-effective printing method for your order size and design requirements.
  4. Order in bulk: Take advantage of quantity discounts by ordering as many T-shirts as possible in a single order.
  5. Avoid rush fees: Plan ahead and allow ample time for production and shipping to avoid rush order fees.


Understanding the various factors that contribute to custom T-shirt costs can help you make informed decisions when placing an order. By considering material, design complexity, printing methods, order quantity, and additional features, you can find the perfect balance between quality and affordability.

Remember to consider the purpose of your custom T-shirts, your budget, and your desired outcome when making your choices. With this comprehensive guide, you’re now equipped to create stunning custom T-shirts that meet your needs and budget.

Get A Quote


new port richey fl custom t shirt screen printing

Contact us today to learn more about our custom screen printing services. We look forward to helping you create the perfect product for your needs!

2 thoughts on “How Much Do Custom T-Shirts Really Cost? The Comprehensive Guide to Pricing”

Comments are closed.